Mailbag: Buzz on DeAngelo Hall, and more

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Goose from Seattle writes: Mike! Long time! Thanks for keeping the news rolling in, even though it hurts to keep reading stories about the hawks.. I had a couple of quick questions regarding D. Hall. First, has Al Davis gone completely senile? And what are the chances the Hawks pursue him and get rid of Jennings? Thanks again mike!

Mike Sando: Getting rid of Kelly Jennings wouldn't make a lot of sense, in my view, given that Jennings is certainly good enough to be a backup, and he could start if needed, and his contract is cap-friendly.

Teams need at least three good cornerbacks. I know Jim Mora has a good relationship with Hall. He might be able to manage Hall a little easier than another head coach might. Overall, though, Hall seems more flamboyant than the typical Tim Ruskell player.

Les from Gardnerville, Nev., writes: Mike, I know the Rams' season is probably over. But, with DeAngelo Hall on the market...I believe the Rams should pick him up. I mean, we are hurting for a halfway decent corner anyways. What do you think?
Mike Sando: Yeah, I think the Rams have enough concerns at cornerback to consider adding a talented player at the position. I would be wary about opening the checkbook too wide for Hall at this point, however.

The Rams used a 2008 fourth-round pick on cornerback Justin King, who is out for the season after suffering a toe injury. That type of injury seems troubling for a cornerback. Tye Hill has struggled. He's hurt at present. Clearly, the Rams need to evaluate where they stand at the position. At least Ron Bartell seems to be developing.

Justin from York, Pa., writes: Should the 49ers Pick up Hall to help out the defensive backs problems he not doing well this year but can he make it any worse for the 49ers???

Mike Sando: Mike Singletary is trying to shape the team a certain way. I'm thinking he doesn't want to add a volatile personality to the locker room. Hall clashed with coaches in Atlanta. Singletary has enough on his plate without dealing with anything along those lines. That would be my initial thought.

Louis from Phoenix writes: Sando, do you think it would be wise for the Card's to go after DeAngelo Hall? I think it's a bad idea, but I really don't know my butt from my elbow when it comes to making decisions like that.

Mike Sando: I can help you find your elbow, but you're on your own from there. I'd be careful adding a volatile personality to the mix at midseason. The Cardinals have a good thing going.

Dugan from Grand Coulee Dam, Wash., writes: What are the chances the Seahawks land DeAngelo Hall? Can we afford him? Does Mora have any say in it? Did he and Hall have a good relationship in Atlanta? Do you agree a Hall/Trufant duo would become the best Corner duo in the NFL?

Mike Sando: Adding a player such as Hall might be a little tricky at midseason. Mike Holmgren would have an opinion. Jim Mora would have an opinion. Tim Ruskell would have an opinion. Price would be a key variable. I don't know how much Hall might command as a midseason addition. The Seahawks make some sense as a landing spot based on their Atlanta connections, but I don't see the move making much sense beyond that. Josh Wilson is improving. I'm not sure the Seahawks are a cornerback away from making the playoffs this season.

Jess from La Quinta, Calif., writes: Hey Sando, with the Derek Anderson era coming to an end in Cleveland, would say that DA might be a candidate to join the Hawks in the near future. A guy his size with arm like his is certainly a great improvement from what we have now behind Hasselbeck. Plus, he is still young enough that he could inherit the franchise QB role upon Hasselbeck's retirement. What is your take on that?

Mike Sando: Makes sense if Anderson is indeed a franchise quarterback. I'm not sure how many teams have won championships plucking quarterbacks cast off by the Browns, but if the value were right, Anderson would certainly improve the depth and give them a potential starter if Matt Hasselbeck isn't able to keep playing.

Ikee from Philadelphia writes: Hey Mike what's going on... I just got done reading John Clayton's blog/mailbag and he touched on a scenario that i never thought of... I know i've asked you 3 or 4 times about the QB position for the 49ers in the near future (2009)... he said that Byron Leftwich could end up with the 49ers since he only signed a 1-year deal with Pittsburgh, noting that he is still young and could be a franchise QB still in the NFL, do you see this happening? Did you hear of anyone in the 49ers organization exploring the possiblity and do you think it would be a good move if it were to happen?
Mike Sando: The 49ers will certainly consider options such as that one. Injuries have short-circuited Leftwich's career to this point. I'm not sure how healthy he would remain playing behind the 49ers' offensive line, but the team probably does need a more accomplished veteran to man the position in the short term.

Andrew from Cave Creek, Ariz., writes: Sando, one really overlooked change the Cardinals made back a couple years ago was adding strength coach John Lott to the mix. This was not a traditional place where the franchise spent money or helped the players feel like there were resources for them. Not to mention from the profiles I've seen of him, he is quite a character and motivator. I think he is a big reason the Cards (to date) are healthy and have a bunch of locker room experience. In terms of the rest of the NFC west, what do the other teams have from a training 'infrastructure' perspective, and is it a real motivator for players?
Mike Sando: Teams take their conditioning programs seriously. I know the strength coaches in St. Louis and Seattle, but I don't know how to quantify the ways they directly affect the health of a team during the season. I have wondered whether a run on a specific injury might line up with something specific to a team's conditioning program.

Drew from Fife, Wash., writes: Sando, I have read a lot how Alex Smith needs a fresh start somewhere else to revive his career. I know he had a different coordinator every year but, why is that an excuse for poor play? His numbers from his best year in 2006 are not anything to make defensive coordinators lose sleep. 74.8 Rat.(22nd), 2890 Yds.(16th), Comp. Pct.58.1 (20th), TD's 16 (19th) and Int's 16(25th).
For his career he only thrown 19 touchdowns with 31 Int's. That is awful. Now I will admit being thrust into the starting role before the opportunity to learn from a vet did hurt his chances at success but, do you honestly believe Smith has the talent to do anything in the NFL? Because, right now, he is the worst draft pick since Ryan Leaf. P.S. Yes I am a Niner fan, and yes I am bitter about that draft. Frank Gore was a find, but outside of that they wasted a few years hoping A
lex Smith would be good.

Mike Sando: I wouldn't count on Alex Smith in any way. I would consider bringing him to camp under a revised contract and seeing if he can develop without expectations. It's impossible to know how well Smith might have fared if Norv Turner had remained as coordinator. Suffice to say Smith would have fared better. He would have had a chance. He didn't have a chance based on things that happened beyond his control.

Mike from Seattle writes: You have two running backs and three wideouts on the all NFC west team, yet no tight ends. I would think Carlson deserves that title in the division. We know Davis is not on top of his game, McMichael is at 139 yds, and Pope and Patrick add up to about 100 yds (but I guess thats due to the 3WR formation to stretch the middle). Any reason the position was left out?
Mike Sando: Yeah, I decided Breaston was more deserving that Carlson, particularly after Carlson dropped that pass on third-and-10 the other day. Breaston has made the third-down catches. He's putting up big numbers for a winning team, and not dropping passes.

Lonnie from Bend, Ore., writes: Well first, as many readers have said before, you have great columns and I look forward to reading when you write. So anyway, here it goes, looking forward.
All year long it has happened - injury, injury, injury. That is just football. I feel really bad for our team, but it is something we have to deal with. I know there alot of concerns about several positions for the hawks, but what do you think is there most concerned position for a 1st round draft pick?

I think that we need to concentrate on a wide receiver (CRABTREE). I know we have concerns on the O-line, the secondary, signing Leroy Hill, and the D-line but clearly we don't have a clear cut #1 receiver. Matt makes our receivers look good but in all reality, do you see anyone picking up any seattle receivers in fantacy football. We need a #1. I think that we need to give Koren a long term deal if we think he can stay healthy, but still sign a #1 receiver.

Get rid of Branch, keep Bobby and Nate and Let them all battle for playing time, it will make them want it more. In the second round we need an O-lineman (LG) to mold when Walter decides to retire. In the third, a QB or safety, Matt isnt getting any younger and sorry, even though I think Seneca is one of the most talented athletes in the NFL, he is just not franchise QB material. We need a QB to mold when Matt leaves the game, someone who can learn from Matt. Make Seneca a #3QB/WR. I know they can still get him lots of playing time and could also scare a few defenses with him in cause they wouldnt know what is about to actually happen. Please Mike, can you tell me if I would make a good GM or do I just need to stick to the Madden nation and not leave the house.

Mike Sando: Thanks, Lonnie. Finding No. 1 receivers in the draft is easier said than done. The position is a high-risk position. So many of these receivers are coming out of college early. They aren't mature. They aren't ready for the NFL life and the demands NFL offenses place on them. Yes, the Seahawks need to address the position in the draft, but they can't count on finding a starter right away. If there's a stud safety, yes, draft him.

If the Seahawks pick sixth through 10th, recent history shows teams can find offensive tackles, running backs, tight ends, linebackers, defensive tackles and defensive backs in that range. Defensive ends have been better from 11 to 15 overall. Receivers fail at higher rates than players at other positions.

Steve from parts unknown writes: hey Mike, still enjoying your NFC west blogs. Cris Collinsworth brought up a good point on Inside the NFL. He suggested the NFL in each city set aside a certain block of tickets to make available (possibly through a lottery system) so that regular joes could have a chance at tickets at an affordable price. Being a Ram fan and living in NYC area I certainly can relate to this idea. Every Giant and Jet game is SOLD OUT for life. Now my fave team comes to town to play the Jets and unless I wanna pay a ton of $$ I can't go watch them live. Some sort of system like Collinsworth suggests at least would give some other people an opportunity to see an NFL game. What's your thoughts?

Mike Sando: That would be a welcome gesture. We can't force businesses to give away their products, but I think teams might get some traction from such a gesture.